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Outdoor City Wedding In The Summer

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Olivia and David brought Malta to New York with their amazing DIY wedding in Queens. They really took advantage of their network of friends who were able to contribute their professional expertise to many parts of the big day. We love how happy they were with their savvy wedding after their initial destination plans were challenged by the pandemic!

Olivia + David

Astoria, New York
- 08/07/2021
Total wedding budget $19,800

Budget Breakdown

Below is an estimated wedding budget breakdown provided by the couple.

  • Catering
  • Alcohol/Bar
  • Cake/Dessert
  • Flowers
  • Decor
  • Planner
  • Music/Entertainment
  • Photography
  • Partner 1 Attire
  • Stationery
  • Hair & Makeup
  • Venue
  • Transportation/Travel
  • Total wedding budget

Did you do any DIY Projects or create any handmade items for your wedding?

Honestly, the only DIY projects I did were signage and favors. I am a minimalist so I wanted to give our guests something consumable. I had a lady from the Maltese center make traditional Maltese cookies and we gave that out as favors. Everyone loved them!

What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?

Our dream was to have a small wedding in Malta. However, we got engaged during the pandemic so this option quickly faded from being a possibility. We wanted to do something that felt like a dinner with family and friends.

Fortunately, my husband was a member of a local Maltese Club here in Astoria, NY. They had a backyard that was big enough to fit our family and friends while still making everyone feel safe during these difficult times.

I work in hospitality so I quickly realized I could hire a lot of my friends for our wedding. Everyone I hired, I knew personally which made it feel very special. From the chef to my wedding planner, bartender, servers, photographer, videographer, DJ, and florist. I felt like each person put their heart and soul into their craft because they had a relationship with me and cared about our wedding.

Everyone that attended our wedding all said they felt like they were not in Queens but in Europe. It made me so happy that we were able to create our original dream in a city where our love began.

My husband also hired a few of his Maltese friends to make Maltese Pastitsi and hoops and conserva as appetizers for cocktail hour. He also ordered “Kinnie” which is a Maltese soda that is very hard to find in the states. All his family truly felt like they were at a reunion in Malta.

What is the most memoriable moment of your day?

Other than marrying the man of my dreams, just sitting at the table, eating delicious food with my husband, and watching all of our friends and family enjoy this special time after the last 2 years of this pandemic.

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

THE VENUE. $800 in Queens, NY is a steal. This was because my husband was a member.

THE CAKE. I went to a cake shop and initially asked them for three separate sized cakes, 8-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch all in different flavors. I was going to put them on a three-tiered stand because putting them on top of one another was an additional cost. I did not use the word wedding. I found that when I did not say it was for a “wedding” I got a more fair price.
Ironically they accidentally put my cakes on top of each other so I got a true wedding cake for a bargain.

HAIR & MAKEUP – I love my curly hair, I just kept it as simple as possible and put baby’s breath in it. I also did my own makeup. My husband had said previously that he wanted me to look like me and he loves the way I do a natural look.

*I had my wedding and bachelorette within two days of each other. I did not want to burden my friends with two trips. (especially during a pandemic)

*Lastly, hiring people I knew. I worked alongside these people and I trusted them. They blessed me with truly fair prices to throw a party for 80 people in NYC.

What was your biggest splurge?

Rentals. Since we didn’t have our wedding in a traditional wedding venue, we had to bring everything in. That was a huge chunk!

Secondly, flowers. However, the flowers really transformed the space.

Thirdly, the flamenco band. BUT THEY WERE SO WORTH IT.

What was your favorite details?

The flamenco band. They set the tone for the space. Everyone was in awe and enjoyed them while we ate dinner. They were the perfect volume for everyone to enjoy but create conversation at the same time.

What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?

Pray to God every day for good weather, it works!

Simplicity is key. There is so much beauty and elegance in simplicity and not sweating the small things. Focus on what are the most important aspects of your wedding between you and your partner.

One of our guests had a wedding at the plaza hotel. He came and was in shock at how we were able to throw such a beautiful wedding for the price we did.

Share any additional details you’d like us to know about your event:

For the bridal march, I had my uncle play acoustic guitar.

Also, since it was August I bought heart-shaped fans as additional favors for guests to stay cool.

All in all, I hope this inspires brides to still find ways to plan their dream wedding even in these difficult times.